It feels like it’s been a L-O-N-G winter, doesn’t it? For some areas of the US, the winter has brought unseasonably warm weather, forcing the flowers and trees to bud earlier than normal. In other areas, the winter was accompanied by colder than normal temperatures and more rain/snow than normal, all thanks to El Nino. Well, hopefully that bad boy has gotten his winter temper tantrum over because it’s springtime. That’s right – Spring officially starts Sunday, March 20.
Springtime, with its longer days and warmer temperatures, brings those hibernating in the northern regions of the country out of hiding. For those down south, they’re getting geared up for the hot weather to start soon. But wherever you live, there are just some things you feel the need to do to get ready for spring. This is the first in a series of articles on getting ready for spring; today, we’re going to look at what fun things you can do to usher in spring this year.
First and foremost, you want to get outside. There’s just something about spring that makes you want to spend time outside, breathing in the fresh air and feeling the sun on your face. Picture a bear just coming out of his den after a long winter’s nap. He peeks out at that bright thing in the sky, sniffs the air, then comes out and does a big stretch. Now, look next door – you’ll probably find your neighbor doing the same thing. So why not take advantage of that feeling and plan a picnic? Of course, the weather makes a difference. Plan your picnic in such a way that you can still have it inside or out. Invite some you haven’t seen since the winter holidays. Have everyone bring a dish. If you can have it outside, make sure to pack some outdoor games along with the food you’re bringing, a blanket to sit on and some small, spring-y gifts for your guests. If it needs to move indoors, you can have all the same things, but indoor games and activities will need to be gathered. Try a game you haven’t played since you were a kid, something silly like Charades or Pictionary; they sound dumb and you may, at first, hate to do it, but you’ll end up having lots of fun and the kids can join in. Think of your spring picnic as a way to bond in person with the most important people in your life, away from technology.
What about your hair? When was the last time you had a haircut? If you’re like most, you only get a haircut when you absolutely need one. Change that habit. Go to your favorite hair stylist and come up with a new look for the new life growing outside, something fresh and bouncy. Just make sure the new look is something you can take care of after you leave the salon; there’s nothing worse than getting a cute haircut that looks good until you wash it again and you have no idea what to do with it.
Here are some other ideas for celebrating spring:
- Review your New Year’s resolutions. Remember all those things you resolved to do this year? Most have probably fallen by the wayside, but now’s the perfect time to take a look at them and see which one or two you can pick up again. Spring is a great time to start walking outside. The weather is warming up and mornings can be particularly sparkling – perfect to jump-start your day and the season. Are you a smoker? Spring is perfect for cutting out the cigarettes.
- Each day, call someone you haven’t spoken to for some months. Everyone has friends and family members they talk to only when there’s a need, but now’s the time to reach out to them and just say hi. Nothing warms the heart than getting a call out of the blue from someone you haven’t spoken to in ages. Make their day and make yours too. The call doesn’t have to be long, just enough to say you were thinking about them and wanted to touch base, see what they’re up to and chat for a few minutes. Keep the conversation as upbeat as possible and if there’s no way to avoid it taking a downward turn, make plans with them to speak later, when you have more time.
- Get a mani/pedi. Whether you’re a man or a woman, it’s time to take a look at your hands and feet. They’ve probably been stuck inside shoes and gloves for most of the winter. Take the time to get pampered a bit and go to a salon to have a manicure and pedicure. If you’ve never done it before, you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel once it’s done. You don’t need to get any fancy polish or any polish at all. Just the exercise of having someone massage your feet and hands is enough to relieve any winter tension that’s built up.
- Open the windows. Spring brings with it the most delightfully fresh air. Open the windows and let the fresh air blow out the stale air in your house. There is one caveat – if you have someone in your home with allergies, opening the windows may prove counterproductive. In that case, go through the house and fresh everything up.
- Fly a kite. Seriously. You may not be a kid any more, but flying a kite will bring the kid out in you. There’s something freeing about putting a kite together, going to the park and running to let the kite loose to the wind. Send your stress and worries into the sky with the kite; you’ll really be surprised.
Next in the series – Tips for sprucing up your home for spring.